Career Development During the Holidays Series: The Social Phase
Of course, during the Holidays, you have competing demands for your time and attention. Parties to attend. If you celebrate Christmas, shopping and preparation to do. The lead-up to Christmas is a natural time for socializing. While your schedule may be crammed, there is a career development opportunity.
1. Build Ties within your organization
The Holidays are a natural time to solidify ties within your place of work. Let’s face it. The bonds between colleagues can get stretched. Difficult decisions. Deadlines to meet. Hectic schedules with no time to kick-back and have non-business conversations with your colleagues.
a.) Your Boss
An important relationship and a major opportunity to hopefully deepen an existing positive relationship, or perhaps, establish a personal connection with a boss that you haven’t managed to get to know yet.
b.) Your team
Both with peers and those who report to you, this is a good time to celebrate accomplishments, bond over the hard work you have collectively put in, and have a few laughs. It is a simple thing, really, but it can do wonders.
c.) Friends, Fans & Allies
It is important to have relationships outside of your immediate colleagues. This is a good time to revisit, catch-up, share war stories and plans for the coming year.
d.) People you want to know better…AKA Targets
Perhaps you have made a connection with someone in the organization but haven’t taken the step of booking time with this person. A well-placed offer for a breakfast or lunch might be just the thing to take this relationship to the next step.
2. External Networking
Customers. Suppliers. People in the industry and community who it is important to know. This is familiar territory.
Of course, this is all optional. You may choose to be very selective about how you spend your time right now.
Instead of using that time now during the busy season, consider a phone call, or email, booking something for January. Even if schedules don’t permit now, it is the thought that counts. A New Year kick-off meeting could work very well.
This is a great time to practice those active listening skills. Ask great questions about their year, their accomplishments, their plans for the New Year, and what is important to them.
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